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The Creative Co-Operative announces the winner of its Anyone Can Program

2 min read
Anyone Can

Anyone Can, Australia’s first Community Startup Program 100% by and for Bla(c)k Women and Women of Colour concluded its flagship community startup program for its second cohort and unveiled Dr Kyal Agraval as the winner and as a surprise twist, announced Rachel Castelino from Blume as the runner-up.

Sponsored by private investment company Tripple, Cohort #2 consisted of 30 Bla(c)k Women and Women of Colour startup founders who were all selected from a total of 261 applicants to go through the 8-week highly-curated program designed to deliver 101 startup education by and for BIWOC founders to help advance in the ecosystem and break through the barriers in accessing initial funding.

“We’re excited to have built a platform that facilitates timely access for patients to great healthcare. This grant awarded to us greatly assists in advancing our vision, and subsequently improving the patient experience through the healthcare system. Congratulations to Priyanka and her team for creating a warm, dynamic and collegiate space for this community of inspirational BIWOC founders,” said Dr Agraval.

First runner up Rachel Castelino added that she is excited to growing her company with the new skills and network she has gained from partaking in the 8-week program.

“Blume is a low calorie and low-sugar soda filled with prebiotics and plant fibre to support your gut health in the most delicious way. The Anyone Can program has proved invaluable in helping me articulate my story and get feedback from other women as I transition from just an idea to achieving scale,” she added.

As Anyone Can starts to prepare for Cohort #3, Priyanka Ashraf, founder of CCO encourages any current or aspiring startup founders or STEM professionals who identify as Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander Women, Black Women and/or Women of Colour to submit their expression of interest for the upcoming program which provides a psychologically safe space to unpack and navigate the ins and outs of the startup ecosystem and aims to normalise the access and advancement of BIWOC within the sector.

“Anyone Can wouldn’t be successful in its mission without the support of our partners and investors who believe in the work that we do and see value in supporting BIWOC founders to shift the needle in the Australian start-up ecosystem,” said Ashraf.

“CCO still has the ambitious goal of getting $700 million into the pockets of BIWOC within the next 10 years in order to level the playing field for women who are disproportionately impacted by the effects of intergenerational inequality. And Anyone Can is one of the avenues we are leveraging and offering in order to hit that goal while tearing down the range of systemic barriers including lack of awareness of and access to funding opportunities and lack of mentoring opportunities for BIWOC.”

Expressions of Interest are still open for Cohort #3 of Anyone Can, where Bla(c)k Women and Women of Colour are given access to 101 startup education and are set up for success and advance in the ecosystem.

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Menchie Khairuddin is a writer Deputy Content Manager at Akolade and content producer for Third Sector News. She is passionate about social affairs specifically in mixed, multicultural heritage and not-for-profit organisations.


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